Community to suggest where Worthing development cash should be spent
Released: Wednesday, 08 March 2023
The community will get more say on where thousands of pounds collected from developers will be spent, thanks to changes in how the Worthing Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Neighbourhood Fund is distributed.
As part of its commitment to become a council for the community, last year Worthing Borough Council began speaking to community groups to find out how the fund can be made fairer, more transparent and easier to bid for grants from.
Communities will now get the chance to have a say in which groups and projects receive funding, with the introduction of an assessment panel made up of ward councillors and selected community groups. There will be an opportunity for applicants to speak to the panel and discuss their project in person, rather than relying solely on an application form.
The Worthing CIL Neighbourhood Fund is made up of a proportion of the payments collected from developers building in the local area to offset the impact felt by residents. This money is then made available to local community groups, organisations and residents' associations that are based in the same area as the developments.
The first round of funding was launched in 2021, with 10 community groups awarded funds totalling nearly £72,000 - including £10,000 to the Friends of Denton Gardens group to replace the pergola in the popular Worthing garden and £7,500 for the 2nd Durrington Sea Scout Group to incorporate wheelchair compliant doors and ramp access at its Pond Lane base.
This year, the fund will be expanded to cover a wider area of Worthing, so that more groups can pay for new projects and secure help with running costs during a difficult financial climate. The revised approach will allocate the funding based on 'CIL areas' that are made up of larger groupings of wards - allowing more groups to be able to bid.
The Council will also be changing the application and decision-making process for distributing the funds. There will be a new expression of interest stage that gives groups the chance to get everything in place ahead of making a formal application.
Groups will be referred to Community Works, a local organisation that supports the voluntary sector, if they need help becoming eligible to apply. The Council is also making it easier for experienced community groups to act as sponsors to smaller or newer groups.
Following feedback from groups on the struggles they are facing with the rising cost of living, there are changes to what can be funded using CIL money - with both revenue projects and new projects or assets considered. The maximum amount payable has also been increased from £10,000 to £15,000.
Cllr Carl Walker, the Deputy Leader of the Council, said:
“As a council for the community we want to make sure that more people are involved in the decision-making process.
“The CIL Neighbourhood Fund offers groups that are doing vital work in the community the chance to get support for their much-needed projects as well help them keep running. The changes we have made to the fund and the extra support from Community Works will take away some of the barriers to applying and will put decision-making in the hands of the people who know best - local residents.”
To find out more about the fund and view a map of the new CIL areas see:
Photo: Denton Gardens' revamped pergola area, paid for by the last round of funding
Page last updated: 20 February 2024